Eccles and Bosco is saved

Pope Francis has got a little list

Posted: 19 Feb 2018 11:18 AM PST

It was time that someone set the Pope Francis book of insultsto music, and it will now form part of Gilbert and Sullivan‘s latest opera, The Dictator, subtitled The Fourteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.Pope singing a song

Take it away, Holy Father!

As some day it may happen that a victim must be found,
I've got a little list – I've got a little list
Of the Catholics that we are trying to drive underground,
And who never would be missed – who never would be missed!

There's the creed-reciting parrot-Christians meaning what they say –
The fomenter of coprophagia - he has had his day –
The self-absorbed Promethean neo-Pelagian -
And airport bishops, who are quite authoritarian,
Museum mummies, and of course the fundamentalist –
They'd none of 'em be missed – they'd none of 'em be missed!

CHORUS (Spadaro, Martin and Rosica): 
He’s got 'em on the list – he’s got 'em on the list;
And they'll none of 'em be missed – they'll none of 'em be missed.

Pope and Spadaro

“I’m sure they’ll not be missed.”

Mr and Mrs Whiner, and the others of their race -
And the old triumphalist - I’ve got him on the list!
And the existential tourist with a pickled-pepper face -
He never would be missed – he never would be missed!
Then the sloth-diseased acedic Christian - he'll be going soon,
The slaves of superficiality, the sourpuss priest-tycoon;
And the modern gnostics, rigid Christians, who are too polite -
The Christian bats who still prefer the shadows to the light!
And then the querulous and disillusioned pessimist –
I don’t think he'd be missed – I’m sure he'd not be missed!

CHORUS. He’s got him on the list – he’s got him on the list;
And I don’t think he'll be missed – I’m sure he'll not be missed!

Pope and Cupich“Buddy, can you spare a paradigm?”

And that type of leprous courtier, who just now is rather rife,
The restorationist – I’ve got him on the list!
Promoters of the poison of immanence, causing strife –
They'd none of 'em be missed – they'd none of 'em be missed.
And those cardinals who know their faith, 
                                 but will not change their mind,
Such as – What d'ye call him – Raymond Thingy,
                                     and Walter -  Never-mind,
And then there's Gerhard What's-his-name, and Robert You-know-who –
The task of filling up the blanks I'd rather leave to you.
But it really doesn't matter whom you put upon the list,
For they'd none of 'em be missed – they'd none of 'em be missed!

CHORUS. You may put 'em on the list – you may put 'em on the list;
And they'll none of 'em be missed – they'll none of 'em be missed!

Burke and Sarah

“Let’s go for a drink – I don’t think we’ll be missed.”

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Brace yourself, you are about to be spoon fed Amoris Laetitia syrup, but be aware that it will give you spiritual stomach ache.



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by Stephen Wynne  •  •  February 16, 2018    50 Comments

“New Momentum” lineup shows conference will skew sharply to the Left

BOSTON ( – Dozens of liberal American bishops will be gathering later this month to craft plans for transmitting Amoris Laetitia’s “new paradigm” to parishes across the United States.

The schedule for February 19, 21 and 23, a series of “New Momentum Conferences” are being marketed as “tailor-made” programs to help U.S. bishops harness — and channel — the “new momentum” Amoris Laetitia is said to offer diocesan pastoral ministry.

Modeled on the October 2017 Boston College Amoris Laetitia symposium, the seminars will take place at three liberal Catholic universities: Boston College, the University of Notre Dame and Santa Clara University.

Participants include some of the leading liberals in the U.S. Catholic Church today.

The principal organizers of “New Momentum” are Cdl. Blase Cupich of Chicago; Cdl. Kevin Farrell, head of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life; and Boston College theologian, Fr. James Keenan, SJ.

Cdl. Kevin Farrell of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life

Cupich is one of the most left-leaning bishops in the United States. He endorses Fr. James Martin, famous for his crusade to normalize homosexuality. After Martin was disinvited from several major speaking engagements over his controversial pro-gay stance, Cupich publicly invited him to speak at his cathedral in Chicago. Martin afterward boasted of the speaking invitation on his Twitter page. Cupich has suggested that active homosexuals should be admitted to Holy Communion.

Cupich has called repeatedly for American society to adopt “a consistent ethic of life” — a reference to the “seamless garment” theory of his modernist predecessor, Chicago Cdl. Joseph Bernardin. Cupich compares Planned Parenthood’s trafficking in aborted baby body parts with issues like joblessness and a broken immigration system — his “consistent ethic of life” in action. For years, he’s pressured his priests and seminarians to avoid praying in front of abortion mills and to refrain from supporting the annual 40 Days for Life campaign, which has saved more than 13,000 lives over the past decade. Cupich shows no objection to pro-abortion politicians receiving Holy Communion.

Cardinal Farrell is known for his emphasis on social justice and his praise of prelates favoring Holy Communion to civilly remarried divorcees.

The New Momentum conferences will take place behind closed doors.Tweet

Father Keenan is a long-time supporter of the gay agenda inside the Church. In 2003, just before Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex “marriage,” he testified against a proposed amendment to the Commonwealth constitution that would have defined marriage as the stable union of one man and one woman. The bill, Keenan asserted, was “contrary to Catholic teaching on social justice,” falsely stating that “this same position has been endorsed by the U.S. Catholic Bishops.”

Cardinal Donald Wuerl (Washington, D.C.) and Abp. Wilton Gregory (Atlanta) are scheduled to speak at the upcoming Boston College seminar.

Wuerl proclaims the primacy of conscience, telling his priests and seminarians that in implementing Amoris Laetitia, the laity alone are culpable for their own moral choices, which include if and when to receive Holy Communion.

Abp. Wilton Gregory of Atlanta

Gregory, meanwhile, is a leading advocate of the pro-gay agenda in the Church, promoting a pro-gay retreat in his archdiocese and providing New Ways Ministry and DignityUSA a permanent home at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Atlanta, despite Church censure for open opposition to Church teaching on homosexual acts.

In addition to Cupich, Cdl. Joseph Tobin (Newark) will present at the University of Notre Dame.

Tobin applauds Fr. James Martin’s work as “brave, prophetic and inspiring,” and has given his blessing to gay pilgrimages and Masses at his cathedral. He’s also among the few prelates to publicly criticize the dubia cardinals, calling critics of Amoris Laetitia “naive at best.” Tobin also advocates for female cardinals.

Bishop Robert McElroy (San Diego) will feature at the Santa Clara University conference. A top pro-gay prelate, McElroy was the first U.S. bishop to defy Church teaching by publicly declaring divorced and civilly remarried Catholics can receive Holy Communion. In September, McElroy blasted faithful Catholics as a “cancer” in the Church. In 2016, he called for the Church to drop the terms “intrinsically disordered” and “intrinsic evil” from its vocabulary, arguing they’re “judgmental.”

The “New Momentum” conferences will take place behind closed doors.

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Hillary White, formerly of Norsia, now of Perugia, Italy

You are now entering the Bergoglian Age: please remove sunglasses


A short time ago, an old conservative friend of mine from Canada wailed to me in a Facebook message, “You don’t really think we’re looking at 50 more years of this?” I had to tell him that I saw no reason not to think so, and that it was time to start facing up to certain realities. I told him to consider that we have been put into this situation after nearly 40 years of “conservative” popes, as the term is now understood. This is not the doing of one man, or even one group of highly successful conspirators. This is the wasteland of the Real, and it has been in the making for a long, long time.

We have to start thinking seriously about how we are going to move forward in this situation. We cannot change it.  No sentence beginning with the words “I wish” is worth the bother of completing. I was advised recently by a confessor not to try to force the world to be the way it ought to be, but to try to live in it in the here and now as it actually is. Things are the way they are. And we need to start preparing ourselves in a concrete manner for a long period of spiritual and ecclesiastical famine.

For the last five+ years – and indeed for much of the last five decades – faithful Catholics have looked to the hierarchy for a rescue that has failed to arrive. We thought the “conservative” John Paul II would save us from the “liberals” but it turned out that “conservatism” wasn’t what we thought it was. A very brief analysis of John Paul’s reign at the very least leaves a lot of very difficult questions about his reign. All of the cardinals who voted in the last Conclave – including the former archbishop of Buenos Aires – were John Paul or Benedict appointments.

This coup has been so successful mainly because of conservatism; the compromise-dialogue-and-appease mindset that creates a “conservative” prelate is the wide open door the Bergoglians walked through.

After the last Conclave, we were still standing quietly looking at the horizon for rescue:

For a while we thought maybe Benedict was the man he was cracked up to be. Then…

For a while we hoped that the “good bishops” would say something at the Synods. Then…

For a while we sort of thought maybe the Dubia would be a thing to stop the runaway Bergoglian Cube Van of Peter. Then…

We’ve seen petitions galore, hundreds of thousands signing Filial Appeals… Fraternal this’s, Statements of Faith thats and Theological Censures the other things. Can anyone even remember how many there have been? Clearly the petitions thing is as dead a letter as the old Remaining in the Truth of Christ book

What I fear is that if we are still looking to the “conservative” bishops or cardinals to come galloping over the hill at the last minute we will have failed to prepare sufficiently for the reality we find in the here and now. {Read the post on Abyssum immediately preceding this one.}  I think the time has come to finally start taking seriously the possibility that we are looking at a long haul, as well as a catastrophic break-up of the unity of the Church. The Second Vatican Council and its horrific aftermath stretched Catholic doctrinal unity to the breaking point; the Bergoglians have broken it. The schism that many have been predicting for decades is finally here. These are now the current facts we have to deal with.

We’re going to have to face up to the fact that we are not going to be welcome in the Church for very much longer. I have said for a while that the purpose of the Bergoglian pontificate is to purge the vestiges of opposition. For all these years we have been able to find that one parish, that one good religious order, that one good seminary, that one good school. These little ghettos of “conservatism” or even Traditionalism are soon to be cleared. Are in fact being cleared as we speak.

The regime are not such naive fools as the “conservatives” and their mindset is alien to them, as it is to all of the modernist “progressivist” school in every area of life in our society. (As in fact, it must be to us, since this nonsense is the product of nothing more than a lukewarm lack of conviction.) Now that they have full power we can be sure that the age of tolerance is over. Whatever else we still wonder about, we can be sure that accommodation of many viewpoints will not continue to be an earmark of the modern Church; there will be no more “big umbrella”. There’s a reason they call it “totalitarianism”.

The things we think are necessities are going to be taken away.

As a certain fellow Gen-X friend said today in a discussion about what’s coming for Summorum Pontificum:

Summorum lives only because Benedict does. It goes within six months of Benedict. Faggioli and company have been prepping the ground for its destruction. Over time, it will be suppressed entirely. But first the general authorization has to be revoked and traditionalism “ghettoized” to the FSSP, ICKs, etc. 

Then the poisonous trads who are gumming up the works of the New Paradigm with their critiques of Mercy™ will be given their own FFI Apostolic Visitation treatments. Sadly, crypto-Lefebvrianism is everywhere and must be rooted out… 

Then, as a sign of Mercy™, Jorge/Tagle will start imposing the hybrid mass that was tried in Buenos Aires. Because Benedict wanted the two forms to inform each other! Even though Magnum Principum will start heading towards congregationalism, making the two forms even more of a meeting of two north pole magnets. Then, when no one is attending the hybrid Mass, it will be closed because the Sheep Did Not Like the Smell. Then it will be FORWARD, FORWARD–ALWAYS FORWARD!

I want to start focusing our attention on what we are going to do for the immediate future, in a practical sense. I want to do a series of short posts based on a set of questions I’m passing around to a number of articulate Trads who understand that we have to start thinking seriously about what we’re going to do in the long run. I’ve sent the following around and will continue to do so to solicit opinions on how we should go forward in a Church and a world that is going to become increasingly hostile to believers – whether we call ourselves “traditionalists” or not.

  • What plans are we making now to ensure we can receive the valid sacraments, at least according to the minimum required by the Precepts of the Church?
  • How are parents planning on teaching their children the Faith and protecting them from doctrinal errors coming from their Catholic school, from the parish, from the bishop, from the national bishops’ conference and from the Vatican?
  • How are we prepared to answer questions about the Faith and the Church – including those about the current situation – from people thinking of becoming Catholics, in a way that will help them be received with full and accurate knowledge?
  • If we are thinking of pursuing a vocation to religious life, what are our plans for when the monastery or convent or order is either dissolved for its refusal to jure or when there are only you and a few others in the community who will not give up the Faith?
  • What are your plans if you are a young man – or the parents of a young man – thinking of the priesthood?
  • What are you intending to do if you are a bishop who refuses to “implement” Amoris Laetitia – and whatever is coming next – when ordered by Rome to do so?
  • How do you plan, in your current state of life, to continue to practice the Catholic Faith and fulfil your duties within it?

People have been asking me a lot, “What should we do?” I’m going to take that seriously and ask the smart and experienced people, laymen, religious and priests, (I even know a bishop or two I’m thinking of asking) what they think we’re looking at for the immediate future, and how we can start to work on ways to deal with it.

And I want to hear from readers. How are you planning on dealing with the coming Bergoglian Age? The following is the Word doc I’m sending around to various people. As they respond, I’ll post their answers, and we can start thinking about making serious plans. Feel free to chime in with your own ideas via email or on the What’s Up With FrancisChurch facebook page.

A conversation with Tradition

There’s been a lot of reacting to this or that individual piece of Bergoglianism. But pulling the camera back a bit we can see the reality that over the last five years they have been releasing the New Paradigm – the new religion – one piece at a time, systematically and with in fact a good deal of logic.

Let’s talk about the post-Bergoglian future. What are our options, given the current trajectory? We’re going to start with the assumption that Amoris Laetitia is indeed going to act as the wedge driven into the heart of the Church to split it. Do you think there will be a general sundering of the Church over this and if so, what will the various bits and pieces look like?

Do we imagine there will be those – Chaput, for instance – who will make Amores L. his line in the sand on sexual morals but who will continue to paper over the vast differences between Catholicism and Bergoglianism in other areas? Will there be a formal, public split between the Bergoglian enthusiasts like Wuerl and those who will continue pretending that this is the only thing wrong?

Do you see this option as being a common one among self-identified “conservatives”? Or is there any growth of the realisation that Amoris L is just a fatal symptom of a larger disease?

Let’s break it down further and ask what the different possibilities are for laymen, priests and bishops. What should a bishop do, for instance, if he finds his diocese isolated in a sea of Amoris L. bishops and a Bergoglian national conference? Will there be Catholic islands, safe zones surrounded by seas of zombies, orcs and morlocks?

What real powers to resist does an individual bishop have in the face of a Pope Tagle, Cupich or Maradiaga? Is it canonically or doctrinally feasible for a bishop – ordered perhaps to allow same-sex “blessings” or to ordain women deacons – to say, “I’m sorry Holy Father, but I am obliged in conscience to decline your order.”? What happens when he is pressed and thrown out of the episcopate and his diocese given to someone more amenable?

It seems clear that though John Paul II and Benedict refused to use the power of the keys to rid the Church of bad men, the Bergoglian Sect is fully aware of the uses of that power, and does not hesitate to wield it to get rid of good men. I suppose it would be useful then to ask what they don’t have the power to do. How far is it not possible for them to go against a recalcitrant bishop?

What should lay people do? I remember John Muggeridge quoting Hamish Fraser: “Whatever they do in Rome, I’m staying Catholic.” We’ve said for a while now, “Just keep the Faith. Practice the Faith and pass it on to whomever you can.” Do the things in keeping with your state in life. But is there anything more specific you can suggest?



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Bishop David Malloy of the Diocese of Rockford, Illinois

Tue Jan 24, 2017 – 12:28 pm EST

U.S. bishop defies Vatican by requiring priests to get permission before offering traditional Mass

Ad Orientem , David Malloy , Diocese Of Rockford , Extraordinary Form , Pope Benedict Xvi , Summorum Pontificum

ROCKFORD, Illinois, January 24, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Bishop David Malloy has told priests in his Rockford, Illinois diocese they must ask permission before offering the traditional form of the Mass. The new rule has critics alarmed as it contravenes Pope Benedict XVI’s 2007 document Summorum Pontificum, which promoted wider celebration of the traditional Mass.

“The idea that Bishop Malloy has the right to repeal Summorum Pontificum for his diocese is simply wrong,” Dr. Joseph Shaw wrote in Rorate Caeli.

“There is no way a bishop can reverse the solemn legislation of the Supreme Pontiff,” added Shaw, a University of Oxford academic and chairman of the U.K. Latin Mass Society.

Malloy invoked the need for “unity” as the basis for his January 11 directive.

He also required that priests ask permission to say Mass facing the altar, or “ad orientem,” a practice that Cardinal Robert Sarah, Vatican head of liturgy, encouraged all Latin-rite priests to adopt.

“The unity of our sacramental celebration strengthens our shared faith and limits confusion among the faithful throughout the Diocese,” Malloy wrote.

The letter goes on:

… in order to underscore our unity in prayer and to avoid differences between and even within parishes on this point, I ask that no Masses be celebrated ‘ad orientem’ without my permission.

Second, for similar reasons, in keeping with Art. 5 §1 of Summorum Pontificum, and with due regard to Art. 2 of that same document, Masses are not to be celebrated using the Extraordinary Form without my permission.

That last paragraph is “truly astonishing,” Shaw noted.

Article 2 states the “priest needs no permission from the Apostolic See or from his own ordinary” to offer the Extraordinary Form “in Masses celebrated without people.”

Article 5 §1 states in part that a pastor should “willingly receive” the petitions of parishioners who are “attached to the previous liturgical tradition” to celebrate the Extraordinary Form.

Shaw writes: “Having referred to these sections, Bishop Malloy then contradicts them: priests do need his permission, and they should not willingly receive requests to celebrate the ancient Mass.”

Article 5, §1 further states that when parishioners request the Tridentine Mass, the pastor should “see to it that the good of these faithful be harmoniously brought into accord with the ordinary pastoral care of the parish, under the governance of the Bishop according to canon 392, by avoiding discord and by fostering the unity of the whole Church.”

Canon 392 notes that: “Since the bishop must defend the unity of the universal Church, he is bound to foster the discipline which is common to the whole Church, and so press for the observance of all ecclesiastical laws.”

Shaw writes that it’s “obvious” the statement of Article 5, §1 “is not intended to contradict the earlier statement that priests don’t need permission to celebrate the Traditional Mass; rather, it is intended to govern the way that they go about doing so.”

Interestingly, Canon 392 also enjoins a bishop to “exercise vigilance so that abuses do not creep into ecclesiastical discipline, especially regarding the ministry of theword, the celebration of the sacraments and sacramentals, the worship of God and the veneration of the saints, and the administration of goods.”

“How do you ‘avoid discord’ by managing these traditionally inclined faithful Catholics (with their large families) when at the same time you allow every other parish to do just about anything they want without the slightest peep, even in the face of absurd innovations or liturgical abuses?” Fr. John Zuhldorf wrote in a blog post entitled “Trad lives matter!”

He also charged Malloy with contradicting Summorum Pontificum.

“The Bishop of Rockford wrote ‘with due regard to Art. 2’ and then he completely ignored it and wrote something that precisely contradicted it. According to Art. 2, priests of that diocese – or any other diocese in the world for that matter – do not need his permission.”

“Granted, Art. 2 says ‘without the people,’ but the Bishop did not restrict himself to that,” Zuhlsdorf said.

Malloy appears to argue the Tridentine Mass is a danger to unity “merely from the fact that it is different from the Novus Ordo,” observed Shaw, adding that this also seems to be behind the ban to celebrate the Novus Ordo Mass “ad orientem.”

But that not only contradicts Summorum Pontificum but Vatican II, he contended.

The Vatican II document Sacrosanctum Concilium “declares that holy Mother Church holds all lawfully acknowledged rites to be of equal right and dignity; that she wishes to preserve them in the future and to foster them in every way(#4).”

It further declares: “Even in the liturgy, the Church has no wish to impose a rigid uniformity in matters which do not implicate the faith or the good of the whole community. (37)”

Ironically, Malloy’s argument “is also contrary to the whole tenor of the 1970 Missal,” Shaw said, “which, as has often been pointed out, is a Missal of options.”

LifeSiteNews contacted the Rockford diocese for comment but has not yet received a response.

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Pray for Pope Benedict xvi


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Eccles and Bosco is saved

The Pope praises the Eccles blog

Posted: 17 Feb 2018 02:28 AM PST

In some conversations in Chile, faithfully transcribed by Fr Antonio Spadaro, Pope Francis has lavished praise on this, the Eccles blog.”So many Catholic blogs faithfully record everything I say or do,” explained the Holy Father, “and this leads readers to conclude that I am a heretic. On the other hand, there isn’t a word of truth in Eccles’s lovely blog, from beginning to end. Therefore readers of it do not question my orthodoxy, my sanity, or my fitness for the role of Deputy God and Corrector of Catholic Teaching.”

Fr Spadaro catches up on “Eccles”.

“As for the other blogs,” continued the Pope, “I don’t even read them. I’m too busy not reading letters from Cardinal Burke, and from people in Chile. It takes me several hours every day to not read anything that comes my way. My loyal sidekick Spadaro, the Jeeves to my Wooster, the Robin to my Batman, and the Fool to my King Lear, does all my reading for me, don’t you, Boy Wonder?”

“As for that book by Marcantonio Colonna – and we know who you are, it didn’t take us long to spot someone riding round Rome in a 16th century costume – well, I haven’t read that at all. But I can assure you that it is false from beginning to end, especially the bit about my being caught in General Galtieri’s wardrobe dressed as a nun. Or was it my being caught in a nun’s wardrobe dressed as General Galtieri? Anyway it never happened.”

Not the best way to be inconspicuous in Rome.

“Reading Eccles’s blog, on the other hand, has kept me sane. It is full of spiritually nourishing advice, and many of the ideas he comes up with provide inspiration for my own policies. I ask myself ‘WWED’ – ‘What Would Eccles Do?’ and then try to take it even further.”

“Well, that’s all I’ve got time for now, I need to go out and insult a few more Catholics. Luckily Eccles has drawn my attention to a fine 19th century list, which includes terms such as ‘goldfish-catcher’, ‘turnip shepherd’ and ‘proprietor of midgets’. I must try and work these into my next homily.”

The Amoris Cube – an Eccles invention – is harder to solve than the Rubik cube.

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How a parish group dedicated to the Eucharist helped revive a London church

The Sodality of the Blessed Sacrament now has hundreds of members across the world

A teacher friend of mine recently said, when talking to one of his students about the Reformation, “What do you know already?” He was expecting answers about Henry VIII wanting to get divorced, or the Catholic Church being so wealthy at the expense of the faithful. But he was greeted with an in-depth explanation of how indulgences and transubstantiation work. The student, unprompted, commented: “Transubstantiation, for Catholics, means that God is always in the same room as them.”

You may think that this was a child from a devoutly Catholic family, receiving a Catholic education. But this boy is at a secular school and comes from a Muslim household. Yet here, in one sentence, was an observation of an important reality: God comes down from heaven to be with us truly and really.

How many of us consider this reality when we go to church? To some extent, going to Mass can become like brushing our teeth: we do it every day and it becomes part of our routine, but we don’t necessarily consciously think about it each time. The same can be true of the Blessed Sacrament: Our Blessed Saviour is there in every tabernacle, and we see that small white Host being elevated during Mass. But do we always recognise that this truly is Christ, body and blood, soul and divinity, coming down from heaven and being fully present in our midst? Do we realise that Jesus is with us?

We have had cause to think about this more deeply, working on the restoration of Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane, in Covent Garden. This is a church that was beginning to show the wear of time and looking tired and distressed. It was a far cry from the bright lights of the theatres surrounding it.

A parishioner commented that, in stripping away the grubby whitewash, she first realised how bad it had become. For the first time in many years, people began to discover London’s hidden gem that has the Blessed Sacrament as its focus and heart. The eyes are immediately drawn to the great tabernacle, adorned by three thurible-bearing angels. The sanctuary walls have been lovingly gilded so that the entire Sanctuary appears to be the heart of a tabernacle, and the dark blue of the ceiling is adorned with stars, reminding us that our worship at Mass unites with the worship of the cosmos as our hearts are lifted to heaven.

The restoration of the building was only one part of the revival of Corpus Christi. The entire project would be meaningless without a spiritual anchor; for us, this most naturally is a confraternity dedicated to worshipping and honouring this greatest of sacraments and helping to catechise the faithful more about our Eucharistic Lord. Thus, in October 2016 the Sodality of the Blessed Sacrament was founded as a means to bring Catholics together in a particular way around a common focus.

The inspiration was twofold. When Fr Henry Manning, later Cardinal Manning, built the church of St Mary of the Angels in Bayswater, he constructed the two adjoining schools before the church. By the time the church was ready to open, he had a flourishing resident Catholic population. Let us also remember that Cardinal Manning opened this church with a very particular vision in mind, ie that of a “shrine of the Blessed Sacrament in the heart of London”.

The inspiring writings of Mgr Ronald Knox, who preached at the Forty Hours’ Devotion at Corpus Christi for 30 years, and whose homilies were collected in the book Window in the Wall, helped to pull our vision together. The homilies from our Sodality Masses are likewise collected in a monthly newsletter, and sent out to all members together with the writings of saints and popes, so that even those who cannot be present at the Masses can join in with the work and prayers of the Sodality. A monstrance lapel pin is also sent out to all members.

Since the Sodality was established, it has grown to several hundred members from all over the world, with bishops, priests, Religious, seminarians and laity as members. On the first Thursday of the month at 6:30pm there is a Sung Mass at which different priests preach on various aspects of the Blessed Sacrament. This is followed by a period of Adoration and Benediction.

Members honour the Blessed Sacrament in a particular way, pray for one another and have helped to raise the funds to buy a processional canopy so that, when Cardinal Vincent Nichols comes to “re-open” the restored church on June 3, we will be able to have a Eucharistic procession around Covent Garden.

Pope Benedict XVI once commented that “without the Eucharist the Church quite simply would not exist.” The Adoremus Eucharistic Congress taking place in Liverpool in September will highlight the importance of this reality. Why not join the Sodality today as part of your preparation for this most important occasion, and unite your prayers with those of Catholics around the world?

Fr Alan Robinson is parish priest of Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane. The next Sodality Mass there is on Thursday March 1 at 6:30pm. To apply for membership and find out more about the Sodality, visit


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Lord Jesus Christ, our sole Redeemer!

Only Begotten Son of the Eternal Creator Father,

From and through Whom proceeds the

Eternal Sanctifier and Giver of Life, the

Holy Spirit, by Whom You did become

Man of the immaculately redeemed flesh of the

Blessed Virgin Mary,

Your most holy Mother;

True God and True Man!

Have mercy on me

and heal me!


Dr. Michael B. Ewbank




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Perhaps the First Image of Mary Painted by St. Luke

Why Mary Is the Best Promoter of Culture

“A Mother’s arms are more comforting than anyone else’s.” – Princess Diana

 By Carrie Gress

In my book, The Marian Option: God’s Solution to a Civilization in Crisis, I spent a lot of time talking about how Mary is a unique driver of culture. The insight was certainly not my own, but hails from some unlikely places. The first is from Henry Adams (1838-1918), grandson of President John Quincy Adams, and great-grandson of Founding Father and President John Adams.

In the early 1900s, Adams, a Protestant who had spent much time living in Europe, wrote about the extreme power wielded by the Virgin Mary:

The twelfth and thirteenth centuries were a period when men were at their strongest; never before or since have they shown equal energy in such varied directions, or such intelligence in the direction of their energy; yet these marvels of history – these Plantegenets [a dynastic family of kings]; these Scholastic philosophers; these architects of Rheims and Amiens; these Innocents, and Robin Hoods, and Marco Polos; these crusaders who planted their enormous fortresses all over the Levant; these monks who made the wastes and barrens yield harvest – all, without apparent expedition, bowed down before the woman.

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What Adams recognized over a century ago as he walked through the cities, churches, cathedrals, and cemeteries, was that the height of European culture was centered around devotion to Our Lady. In the places where European culture soared, so too did devotion to Our Lady, and perhaps vice versa, where devotion to Mary soared, so too did culture.

Mary As Masterpiece

Decades later, art historian Sir Kenneth Clark stated that there is something unusual about the feminine element in religion and culture. Sir Clark says, “The all-male religions (a reference to Israel, Islam, and the Protestant North)  have produced no religious imagery—in most cases have positively forbidden it. The great religious art of the world is deeply involved in the female principle.” Mary certainly offers that feminine principle.

Mariologist Fr. Johann Roten offers a theological explanation for Mary’s cultural influence. “As masterpiece, Mary is a direct reference to the divine artifex: she is part of the creative manifestation of God’s marvelous deeds.” He continues, “Mary’s beauty is beauty of promise and hope.” Marian culture is then an extension of Mary’s virtues. It isn’t art for arts sake, or beauty for the sake of beauty, but like Mary herself, points to something, or in this case, someone, beyond herself. To see the material elements of Marian culture, such as art, music, architecture, and literature, the viewer doesn’t simply bask in its beauty or cleverness for its own sake, but enters into Christ’s story.

And even Fulton Sheen observed that Mary’s influence stems from her role as a woman to edify men. He wrote, “When man loves a woman, it follows that the nobler the woman, the nobler the love; the higher the demands made by the woman, the more worthy a man must be. That is why woman is the measure of the level of our civilization.” When men love the most noble of women, the bar of culture is raised to new heights.

Virgin of Mercy, Sano di Pietro, 15th century;
Mother and Child, 1183, Christian Krohg, National Gallery, Norway

Mother and Child, 1183, Christian Krohg, National Gallery, Norway

Science continues to inform us about the role of bonding between a mother and child, particularly at birth. The imprinting that happens between the two starts early in the the womb. Remarkable details have emerged, such as the data that says that the child knows the mother’s scent before birth from the amniotic fluid. Hormones like oxytocin are released during physical contact, provide an abundance of peace and other feelings of well-being. This certainly doesn’t end with infancy. But all of this physical mothering has to have greater perfection in its spiritual form when it comes from the perfect mother, Our Perfect Mother.

There is new research emerging about the most successful business cultures. The book The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle reports that the companies with the most successful cultures live with a sense of family – where human contact and connecting, a future together, and safety and care all play a role. Surpassing even intelligence levels of employees, these familial things are hallmarks of successful organizations.

It is interesting to look at how the Church has operated for centuries by living out this extended family concept long before it was “a thing.” Companies like Google and Twitter actually call their employees “googlers” or “tweeps” giving them something of a family name. Similarly, the Church has names like Benedictines, Augustinians, Franciscans, Dominicans, and Carmelites, that have also had successful cultures that have lasted centuries and centuries. Additionally, individual members are called brother, sister, father, mother within these orders, further solidifying the family ethos.

But Christ and the Church in their wisdom saw to it to also give us a Mother so we would not be left orphans. At the heart of every family is a mother. And it is from the mother that culture can and does flow — because she brings order, connection between members, a deep sense of belonging, and the safety that comes from just being held. Mary, as the perfect mother, wants to be all of this. And in those times and places when she has been at the center of a culture – the true mother of the family — those places have flourished.

As for those places where she is forgotten Pope Pius X tells us what happens. “If we were to lose Mary, the world would wholly decay. Virtue would disappear, especially holy purity and virginity, connubial love and fidelity. The mystical river through which God’s graces flow to us would dry up. The brightest star would disappear from heaven, and darkness would take its place.”



Prior to my life as mother and author, I traveled extensively and lived in France, Rome, and Poland. One of my first articles was about a high-end hotel in heart Krakow, Poland, written for a travel industry magazine.

I have always found it exhilarating to explore the foreign, but particularly countries that boast a Christian past – and even better if they have a Christian future. I’m intrigued to see how Christ and his Mother, the saints and religious symbols, are included into the fabric of everyday – from the simple, such as Christmas ornaments and holy cards, to the elaborate, in soaring architecture and priceless paintings.

Having spent years studying the philosophical side of beauty, there is no reason why we can’t reclaim beauty in our every day lives and let go of the kitsch that is so prevalent in Catholic art and objects.

Not everything here is overtly Catholic, but everything will have something that can reach a Catholic soul. This is the true capacity of beauty – it is the breathe of God. All true beauty comes from him, so whatever captures you, renews your sense of wonder, fills you with awe, enlivens your heart, or helps quiet your soul with peace, has its source in Our Lord.

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Hans Scholl and his sister Sophie, with their friend Christoph Probst, in 1943


How Newman inspired the German resistance

It is 75 years since anti-Nazi demonstrators took the action which would lead to their executions

Seventy-five years ago, on February 18, 1943, Hans Scholl and his sister Sophie were caught distributing anti-Nazi leaflets in Munich University. Five days later they were tried and executed for high treason on Hitler’s direct orders. The Scholls belonged to a group of students who, using the nom de guerre of the White Rose, spoke out against National Socialism and circulated thousands of leaflets telling Germans of their moral duty to resist Hitler and his “atheistic war machine”. They also condemned the persecution of Jews in the year when Hitler began to implement the Final Solution – and were among the few to speak publicly of the Holocaust while it was taking place.

The Scholls and their friends are household names in Germany. Sophie has nearly 200 schools named after her; she was dubbed the greatest German woman of all time by a popular television series called Greatest Germans, and the film Sophie Scholl: The Final Days (2005) was nominated for an Oscar in the category Best Foreign Language Film.

After the conspirators of the failed July 20, 1944 attempt on Hitler’s life, the White Rose students are the best-known example of Germans who sought to resist the Nazis. That there were so few similar deeds shows just how difficult and dangerous resistance was, and how successful Nazi tactics had been in desensitising consciences and eliminating whatever stood in their way. Even the effort to maintain some form of inner or passive resistance required great determination.

Perhaps surprisingly, both Hans and Sophie were initially enthusiastic members of the Hitler Youth, and even became group leaders. But they were disillusioned by their experiences, and began to oppose virulently every manifestation of Nazism. In search of meaning for their lives, they discovered in Christian writers, ancient and modern, answers to their deepest longings. From their letters and diaries we know that they were strongly influenced by St Augustine’s Confessions, Pascal’s Pensées and George Bernanos’s Diary of a Country Priest. Now it has become clear that their lives were also shaped by the writings of Blessed John Henry Newman.

The man who brought Newman’s writings to the attention of the Munich students was the philosopher and cultural historian Theodor Haecker. Haecker had become a Catholic after translating Newman’s Grammar of Assent in 1921, and for the rest of his life Newman was his guiding star. He translated seven of Newman’s works, and on several occasions read excerpts from them at the illegal secret meetings Hans Scholl convened for his friends. Strange though it may seem, the insights of the Oxford academic were ideally suited to help these students make sense of the catastrophe they were living through.

Haecker’s influence is evident already in the first three White Rose leaflets, but his becomes the dominant voice in the fourth: this leaflet, written the day after Haecker had read the students some powerful Newman sermons, finishes with the words: “We will not be silent. We are your bad conscience. The White Rose will not leave you in peace! Please read and distribute!”

When Sophie’s boyfriend, a Luftwaffe officer called Fritz Hartnagel, was deployed to the Eastern Front in May 1942, Sophie’s parting gift was two volumes of Newman’s sermons. After witnessing the carnage in Russia, Fritz wrote to Sophie to say that reading Newman’s words in such an awful place was like tasting “drops of precious wine”.

In another letter, Fritz wrote: “We know by whom we were created, and that we stand in a relationship of moral obligation to our creator. Conscience gives us the capacity to distinguish between good and evil.” These words were taken almost verbatim from a famous sermon of Newman’s called “The Testimony of Conscience”. In it, Newman explains that conscience is an echo of the voice of God enlightening each person to moral truth in specific situations. All of us, he argues, have a duty to obey a right conscience over and above all other considerations.

At the White Rose trial, Sophie said that it was her Christian conscience that had compelled her to oppose the Nazi regime non-violently. The same was true for Hans: he, like his sister, had found in Newman and other Christian writers the resources and inspiration to make sense of the brutal and demonic world around him.

Fritz Hartnagel was evacuated from Stalingrad just before the German army surrendered. In his last letter to Sophie. he laments the loss of the two volumes of Newman sermons she had given him – not knowing that Sophie was already dead when he was writing. When Fritz visited Sophie’s parents, he gave them a collection of Newman sermons translated by Theodor Haecker. Haecker himself also visited the Scholls, and signed the visitor’s book with Newman’s own motto, Cor ad cor loquitur (“Heart speaks to heart”).

Paul Shrimpton’s Conscience Before Conformity: Hans and Sophie Scholl and the White Rose resistance in Nazi Germany (2018) is published by Gracewing and will be available in early March

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